Analysis Of Laptops For Graphic Design Use Computer Science Essay

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A friend of mine is seeking for my advice on buying a new gadget. He is an Interior Graphic Designer. Recently, he wants to purchase a notebook which is able to support the new version of graphic designing software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, 3DMAX and etc. Furthermore, he also requires a lightweight and user friendly notebook with long-lasting battery that can last for approximately 4 hours.

Gadgets/ Equipment

Laptop model

Macbook Pro 17'inch

Sony 16 inch VAIO F Series

Processor

2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 with 6MB L3 cache

Intel® Core™ i7-2820QM Processor 2.30 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.40 GHz with 8 MB (L3 Cache)

Operating System

Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate 64-bit (English Version)

Memory

8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB

8 GB (4 GB x 2) DDR3 SDRAM

Hard Drive

750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 RPM

640 GB (Serial ATA, 7200 rpm)

Display

MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Glossy Widescreen Display

16 inch wide TFT colour display (VAIO Display Premium, 3D Supported, LED backlight)

Video Card

Intel HD Graphics 3000

AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5

NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M GPU with 1GB GDDR3

Optical Drive

8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

Blu-ray Discâ„¢ Drive with DVD SuperMulti

Wireless

Wi-Fi wireless networking4 (based on IEEE 802.11n specification); IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible

IEEE 802.11b/g/n

Primary Battery

6-cell Primary Battery up to 7 hours of wireless web

VGP-BPS21A Lithium-ion battery: up to 1.5 hours of use

Price

RM9132.00

RM8999.00

Table1 : The comparison of the specification of 2 market available notebook.

From the specification table, both Macbook Pro 17'inch and Sony 16 inch VAIO F Series having the same processor and main memory. The Intel i7 processor is the most newest Intel technology processors which working with DDR3 SDRAM. The main memory is 2 slot of 4GB DDR3 SDRAM which can be work in dual channel mode to provide more faster processing power. The hard disk of Macbook pro is much more larger which can store more files. Other than that, the Macbook Pro have a larger 17-inch display where Apple claim that all of the display are calibrated. The video card of both notebook are using different technologies which is AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce to Macbook pro and Sony VAIO respectively. The Macbook pro 17 is slightly more better than NVIDIA with its GDDR5 technology. The battery of Macbook pro can last longer than Sony VAIO which is 6 hours and 1.5 hours respectively.

Introduction

Microsoft Windows 7

Windows 7 is the latest release from the operating system giant Microsoft. It is a series of operating systems that are created for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media center PCs. Unlike its predecessors Vista and Windows XP, Windows 7 is intended by Microsoft to be a sort of an improvising upgrade, which will base itself on Windows Vista, thus making all existing software and hardware compatible with Windows Vista.

Most of the changes made in Windows 7 are in the form of user interface and internal software improvements to the operating system. For instance, multi-touch support is focused, a redesigned Windows shell with a new taskbar called Superbar, and a home networking system called HomeGroup. The improvements made are not only in the looks and aesthetics of the windows themselves, but also more user-friendly features, as well as enhanced speed for programs like Windows Internet Explorer. Besides these, there are also expected to be more customization features available to users. Furthermore, Windows 7 claimed to be a more stable platform.

Windows 7 currently has 32-bits and 64-bits memory address length architecture which can be referenced by the processor. This will have an impact on the maximum amount of memory that can be utilized, which is 4GB for a 32 bit. If the memory address is much more than 4GB of memory, which is ideal for avid gamers, CAD, video editors and heavy multi-taskers. However, any 32 bit software you use will still be restricted to 4GB memory. A 64 bit CPU, OS and applications is needed to take full advantage of the extra RAM. In addition, Running some 32 bit applications on a 64 bit OS could actually be slower. The additional overheads in running 32 bit software in 64 bit mode could cause a slight degradation in performance. Windows 7 is relatively good if you are regularly work with resource hungry applications that are 64 bit optimised (such as video editing, CAD and image packages) then it would be especially beneficial to be able to work with over 4GB of RAM amongst the other improvements

To improve the graphical performance Windows 7 has a good architecture of GDI Concurrency and Reduction of overall memory footprint of Windows due to excessive paging activity.

Windows 7 architecture of GDI concurrency.

The GDI concurrency was improved by re-architecting the internal synchronization mechanism through which multiple applications can reliably render at the same time. Contention due to the global exclusive lock is avoided by implementing a number of fine-grained locks which are not exclusive but aid parallelism. The increased number of fine-grained locks adds a small overhead for scenarios where only a single application is rendering at a time. Special attention was paid to GDI application compatibility as changing internal synchronization mechanism in the most widely used API stack could potentially give rise to timing issues such as deadlocks and rendering corruption.This work also resulted in better rendering performance of concurrent GDI applications on multi-core CPUs. Multi-core Windows PCs benefit from these changes as more than one application can now be rendering at the same time. In reduction of overall memory footprint Windows 7 saves one copy of the memory allocation per application window by getting rid of the system memory copy entirely. Thus, for a GDI application window visible on the desktop, the memory consumed is cut in half.

Apple Mac OS X 10.6

Mac OS X snow leopard 10.6 is the newest version of Mac OS X for Macintosh computers like Apple's desktop, server and laptop. This operating system is based on UNIX programming language and it is a line of graphical user interface-based operating system.

Unix is a portable, multi-tasking and multi-user in a time sharing configuration. Unix system is operate under Unix philosophy that is use plain text for storing data, a hierarchical file system; treating devices and certain types of inter-process communication (IPC) as files; and the use of a large number of software tools, small programs that can be strung together through a command line interpreter using pipes, as opposed to using a single monolithic program that includes all of the same functionality. In Unix, the kernel is the master control program. Many of the utilities in Unix along with the kernel. The kernel provides services like to start and stop programs, , handles the file system and other common "low level" tasks that most programs share, and, perhaps most importantly, schedules access to hardware to avoid conflicts if two programs try to access the same resource or device simultaneously. The kernel was given special rights on the system, leading the division between user-space and the kernel-space to mediate such access.

The system requirements for this operating system are Mac computer with an Intel processor (IA-32). "Yonah" processors such as Core Solo and Core Duo can run only 32-bit applications; later x86-64 architecture processors such as Core 2 Duo will also be able to run 64-bit applications. Beside that it also needs 1GB of Ram and 5GB of free disk space. This version of operating system is only available for Intel-based Macintosh computers and the licenses are single-user licenses and "family pack" licenses for up to five computers are available.

This OS is focused on graphics and multimedia functions. Mac OS X is considered suitable for entertainment purposes and it is popularly used for photo editing and for playing videos and music. Apple's own some graphic application like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and Aperture, and all the graphic software from adobe is available for this platform. Apple Mac OS X 10.6 is more secure operating system if compare to others.

Select the most suitable Operating System

By doing some survey between Microsoft Windows 7 and Apple Mac OS X 10.6, we will be selecting Macbook Pro 17'inch as the new notebook for this graphic designer.

In terms of security and privacy, the Mac OS X10.6 is much more preferable. Because Mac OS is using UNIX programming language and Windows is using DOS programming language. The DOS programming language are the more popular method as many people opt for Windows, whereby this can lead to a regular Windows OS to be more easily hacked by almost anyone with remote computer knowledge. Also, more virus or spy-ware can penetrate into the Operating system which will make our data unsecured or might just even corrupt the entire operating system. Furthermore, Mac OS have their own support software (anti-virus, personal firewall, etc) which provides a different level of security compared to Windows supported software. Nowadays, most of the virus and illicit software that are created mostly affects Windows related software compared to Mac OS with being viruses and malware programs being created based on the DOS language.

In terms of graphics performance, while the Macbook Pro and Mac OS is being manufactured with more focus on graphics and multimedia functions, but Windows and any generic PC that comes with it are much more focused on regular office functions. In addition, the Macbook Pro comes with a calibrated 17-inch high resolution widescreen display. The calibrated display will make the displayed colour exactly the same with the actual colour or printing colour. This will maintain a professional image of a designer with a perfect presentation.

The compatibility of Mac OS is relatively high as Windows. For currently, most of the data or file used in Windows are also compatible or can be used in Mac OS although the software cannot be run in each Operating system. For example, the Adobe Illustrator installed in Mac OS cannot be installed in Windows, but the file either created or exported by each of the different version can be use in each others. Probably the only things that aren't compatible with each others' system is the Windows's executable file (.exe) or the .pe (Preferred Executable) by the Mac OS that are used to run or install applications.

The rendering performance in Mac OS is plenty times better than Windows. Because one of the main purpose of Mac OS is for image and video editing, the software being created have a highly efficiency rendering performance which work together with processor. The processors, graphic processing units (GPUs) for an average Macintosh system are specifically created to its machine, while Windows hardware are easily interchangeable by buying any parts of the market and affixing it to a desktop/laptop. Although this might seem to be an advantage for the Windows based PC, its graphics performance can only barely be comparable with an equal VRAM of a Macintosh system, due to factory calibration by the Apple technicians to maximize output capability.

Other than that, the power management of the Mac OS X10.6 are much more better than Windows 7 while the processor is running in a full load condition which is rendering as the graph shows below, the Mac OS X10.6 will having battery life is longer than Windows 7 when tested on the same type of Macbook Pro.

Final Decision and recommendation

The final decision on selecting of new notebook for my graphic designer friend is buy a Macbook Pro 17"inch with Mac OS X10.6 as the recommendation. The Macbook comes with Mac OS X10.6 Snow Leopard which is the OS that is most suitable to the needs of he requested. By comparing the overall performance of Mac OS X10.6 with Windows 7, this shows that Mac OS is performing better in term of what my friend requested.

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